#2 — Glossary

Hello again. The first blog entry was meant to be like a kick-off entry/overview for the process of research within this project. It consists of information, assumptions, opinions and perceptions. To answer the questions I asked myself i have to close some knowledge gaps before. It will be important during my research to recheck these assumptions and to find a best solution approach within my topic. 

Before I follow up on the content and questions from the first entry, I would like to clarify and define terminologies I will work with. Therefore this blog entry is used as a small glossary for UX related terms I came across within my research already and which I will update continuously in course of my further research. Additionally the glossary should help me in my research to follow a clear direction and to avoid misconceptions.

There we go:


++ A/B Testing

A/B testing is the comparison of two designs against each other to determine which performs better.

++ Accessibility

The practice of designing experiences for people who experience disabilities. Those with difficulty with any of the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch or taste may be benefitted by using products and services that have been designed with accessibility in mind.

++ Agile UX

Agile UX adds UX design and research methods to the agile methodology. The most important driver for Agile UX is the close cooperation between developers, UX designers and UX researchers during the entire process of product development. Ideally, every sprint entails a design and/or research goal. By planning, testing, optimizing and re-testing elements throughout the project, the UX team is able to roll out a final product that has already been validated by their target users.



++ Corporate Identity (CI)

The corporate identity concept can be seen as a strategic concept for positioning the identity of a company and defining a clear uniform self-image, both within the company and in the corporate environment. By developing a clear “we-awareness”, the corporate identity concept is intended to establish a corporate culture internally as a network of lived behavioral patterns and norms. Decisions are made on the basis of a uniform corporate image or identity and corporate mission statement. This enables a significantly higher compatibility and synergy of corporate activities and releases considerable motivation potential through identification with the company and its policies.

++ Cognitive Biases

Cognitive biases are errors in reasoning, memory or other cognitive processes that result from holding onto existing beliefs regardless of contrary information. There are more than 100 documented cognitive biases, commonly categorized in four categories: biases that arise from too much information, not enough meaning, the need to act quickly, and the limits of memory. Cognitive biases are particularly important to be aware of while conducting research, as a way of arriving at truer findings instead of relying on personal preferences. Example: Designer Bob loves minimalist design, and exhibits confirmation bias when he decides to approach his new UI project with an ultra-minimalist approach.

++ Customer Experience (CX)

CX refers to all the different interactions a user has with a brand through its different channels and products, and how a user feels about them. It has a profound impact on brand trust.

++ Customer Journey Map

User journey maps depict an entire process that a hypothetical user can go through. From the information process, to the booking process, to the purchasing process. This mapping goes far beyond a single product or service. It also considers everything that lies outside of individual touchpoints (such as a website).

Customer journey maps visualize how users would achieve their goals and complete tasks. Ideally, research should show the pain points and customer needs within this map. Journey maps are often presented as timelines to demonstrate interaction points covering the beginning, middle and end of an experience.


++ Design Thinking

Design thinking is a non-linear, iterative process that teams use to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test. Involving five phases—Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test—it is most useful to tackle problems that are ill-defined or unknown.

++ Discursive Design

Discursive Design is about exploring how design can be used for good-, prompting self-reflection, igniting the imagination, and affecting positive social change.  Discursive design (derived from “discourse”) targets the intellect, prompting self-reflection and igniting the imagination and expands the boundaries of how we can use design; how objects are, in effect, good(s) for thinking.






++ Inclusive Design

The British Standards Institute (2005) defines inclusive design as: ‘The design of mainstream products and/or services that are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as reasonably possible … without the need for special adaptation or specialized design. Inclusive design does not suggest that it is always possible (or appropriate) to design one product to address the needs of the entire population. Instead, inclusive design guides an appropriate design response to diversity in the population through: Developing a family of products and derivatives to provide the best possible coverage of the population. Ensuring that each individual product has clear and distinct target users. Reducing the level of ability required to use each product, in order to improve the user experience for a broad range of customers, in a variety of situations.



++ (UX) KPIs

In business administration, the term “key performance indicators” is generally used to refer to the success, performance or capacity utilization of a company, its individual organizational units or a machine. UX KPIs are key performance indicators that can be used to manage and coordinate UX in companies. They are intended to help integrate UX into the company and increase the UX maturity level.



++ Mental Model

A user’s mental model is a conceptualization or internal explanation each user has built about how a particular system works. As Norman says (1990), it is a natural human response to an unfamiliar situation to begin building an explanatory model a piece at a time. We look for cause-and-effect relationships and form theories to explain what we observe and why, which then helps guide our behavior and actions in task performance.

According to Norman, each user’s mental model refers to a product of many different inputs. Two core variables are “knowledge in the head” and “knowledge in the world”. Knowledge in the head comes from mental models of other systems, user expertise, and past experience. Knowledge in the world comes from other users, the work context, common cultural conventions, documentation, and the conceptual design of the system itself. 




++ Persona

A persona is a fictional representations of a user group you’re designing for. Personas help stakeholders understand who you have in mind when you make design decisions, and act as a reminder to teams that “You are not your user.” Contrary to popular belief, personas are not to be taken as one actual person, but rather as a mix representing a group of users with similar behaviors and mental models. Personas are often created early in the design process so the designer knows who it is designed for.



++ Return On Investment

A measure for evaluating business performance. In traditional finance, ROI is the most common “profitability ratio” most often calculated by dividing net profit by total assets. The general idea of ROI helps product teams evaluate whether certain efforts are worth pursuing.




++ User-Centered Design

An approach for designing a product or service (user interface design), in which the end user is in the center of the process.

++ Universal Design

Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. An environment (or any building, product, or service in that environment) should be designed to meet the needs of all people who wish to use it. This is not a special requirement, for the benefit of only a minority of the population. It is a fundamental condition of good design. If an environment is accessible, usable, convenient and a pleasure to use, everyone benefits. By considering diverse needs and abilities of all throughout the design process, universal design creates products, services and environments that meet peoples’ needs. There are 7 principles universal design follows.

++ Usability

Usability is a measure of how well a specific user in a specific context can use a product/design to achieve a defined goal effectively, efficiently and satisfactorily. Designers usually measure a design’s usability throughout the development process—from wireframes to the final deliverable—to ensure maximum usability.

++ Usability Testing

Usability testing is the act of evaluating products or services by testing them with users. During usability tests, researchers observe participants who attempt to complete tasks. The goal is to identify usability problems, collect qualitative and quantitative data and determine participants’ reactions to an experience.

++ User Interface (UI)

UI is the medium through which users interact with an experience, product or device. Your mobile screen, the automated checkout kiosks at grocery stories, the keyboard on your laptop and the way Alexa responds to your voice are all examples of user interfaces.

++ User Journey

The path(s) that users take to complete tasks or achieve their goals. From the perspective of analytics software like Google Analytics, journey maps visualize “a person’s experience during one session of using a website or application, consisting of the series of actions performed to achieve a particular goal.”

++ UX Analytics

UX Analytics are important for knowing how User Experiences are going. There are different tools to obtain analytics metrics. While companies used to run focus groups, client interviews and in-lab studies, today the right testing software enables organizations to conduct user research online to scale and quantify results continuously.

++ UX Design (UXD)

UXD is the practice of affecting the user experience through a user-centered design process, with a focus on usability and making user interfaces easy to understand. User experience design is a broad field containing many subfields like information architecture, research, UI design and more. Contrary to popular belief, user experiences designers cannot design all the possibilities of an end-user’s experience (too subjective and vast), but these professionals can apply a design process to help users complete the most important actions.

++ User Experience

User Experience (UX) is everything that happens to a user while interacting with a product, service or general experience. This includes the person’s emotions, attitudes, reactions and behavior during the experience. As a design field, UXBeginner defines user experience at three levels: Level 1 (broadest): the general experience anyone can have with a product or service. Level 2 (as philosophy): Placing the user – and their experience – as the priority and origin of truth for product design. Level 3 (as a way of doing things): UX leverages design thinking, processes, tools and techniques (wireframes, sitemaps) in order to create and affect the user’s experience.






Interface Design : Usability, User Experience und Accessibility im Web gestalten

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